With the countdown already on for the reveal of the 2020 Explorer, we get our best look yet at the Blue Oval’s popular large SUV.
Looks Familiar, Doesn’t It?
We wouldn’t blame you if the overall silhouette fooled you into thinking that it’s only facelift, but it’s a truly new model. That’s mostly evident from the re-imagined front end, which bears a passing resemblance to an older version of one of its most prominent competitors, the (facelifted) 2011 Toyota Highlander.
Beyond the face and the different proportions, which we’ll explain below, the next generation Explorer also gets a tighter greenhouse with a more aggressively sloped D-pillar, and more angular design elements for the rear, including the more compact three-dimensional taillights.
Edgier Interior With More Cargo Space, Better Tech
From what we can tell from a close up picture, the interior has been overhauled with a more angular design for the dashboard and other components such as the door handle surrounds. There also seems to be a large, semi-tablet style touchscreen that partially extends above the center console.
Look for the latest version of Sync along Ford’s new suite of active safety features collectively named ‘Co-Pilot 360’ that debuted in the latest Edge and which include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, lane keeping system, reverse camera and automatic high beams.
Per Ford’s own announcement on the 2020 Police Interceptor Utility hybrid, which is a renamed Explorer for cops, the three-row SUV will retain the same passenger volume as before at 118 cu.ft, but will have additional cargo capacity.
Platform And Powertrains
Remember what we said about the new Explorer having different proportions? That’s due to the 2020 model switching to a rear-drive layout with a longitudinally mounted engine, which results in a modified dash-to-axle ratio and shorter overhangs. The new Explorer shares its CD6 platform with the also new 2019 Lincoln Aviator that will appear in production form at next week’s LA Auto Show.
To be offered in both rear- and all-wheel drive iterations, powertrain options are believed to include a 2.3-litre turbo four, a 3.3-litre V6, 3.3-litre V6 hybrid and an Ecoboost 3.0-litre V6, paired to a new 10sp automatic transmission. The turbocharged 3.0-litre Explorer ST variant, should deliver around 400 hp (298 kW).
Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes
There’s no lack of rivals in this segment, with the Ford Explorer to go against GM’s Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave, Dodge Durango, the Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9, the Volkswagen Atlas and Subaru Ascent.
When Can I Get It?
The 2020 Explorer will go on sale in the first half of next year, though we still don’t know if Ford plans to introduce it at next week’s Los Angeles Auto Show or if it will prefer to wait for the Detroit Motor Show in mid-January.